Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Autologous biologic, defined as platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) is a cell-based therapy treatment option in regenerative medicine practices, and have been increasingly used in orthopedics and sports medicine disorders.

Blood contains the plasma, red cells, white cells, and platelets. The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a healing response.

PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in the blood. The concentration of platelets and growth factors can be 5 to 10 times greater than usual.

To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation.

When the injection is ready, your doctor cleans the area where you’re getting the shot. The doctor then uses a syringe filled with PRP to inject the substance.

Although it is not exactly clear how PRP works, laboratory studies have shown that the increased concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing process.

Platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) works by delivering a supraphysiologic amount of growth factors and cytokines contained within platelets.

PRP has also been reported to reduce pain through the effects of bioactive molecules and growth factors present in alpha granules. In musculoskeletal medicine, PRP is a promising treatment modality with evidence of safety.

Clinical applications:

  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Patellar tendinopathy
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Knee osteoarthritis

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